Life Story for
Michael John "Magic Mike" Hughes
OUR “MAGIC MIKE”, THE LION OF THE MOUNTAIN, went to meet our Lord on June 20th 2018.
Mike Hughes was born on August 20th 1928 in New Britain, Connecticut, to parents Raymond Hughes and Julia Jones Hughes.
From an early age, Mike paved his own way and became a lifelong ski instructor. Over his 70 year career he taught thousands of skiers – from Stowe, Vermont to Portillo, Chile and finally to his beloved Sun Valley that he called his permanent home. In 2018 he received a plaque from Sun Valley Ski School commemorating 50 years of service.
In his early years, he was nicknamed “Iron Mike” for his spectacular water skiing abilities. At one time, he made a record distance jump of 138 feet! On Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain, his name transitioned from “Iron Mike” to “Magic Mike”, where he took countless skiers, at every level, and transformed their abilities. What he instilled in thousands of students was often almost miraculous, hence the name, ‘Magic Mike’. Mike’s humor, storytelling and his ability to bring excitement to every experience is what set him apart. Mike loved what he did, did what he loved and never worked a day in his life. He skied not for money or glory but to impart his uncanny insight for improving technique and his skill for teaching the sport he so dearly loved. He also will be fondly remembered at Our Lady of Snows Catholic Church, as the spectacular Irish tenor that always sat in the front row.
Mike’s old friend, U.S. Ski Team legend, Marv Moriarity, recently recalled fond memories of their days in Stowe, VT, in the early 60s, with skiing ‘greats’, Penny Pitou and Betsy Snite, stating that Mike’s enthusiasm and style could certainly be called, “flamboyant”. Marv later visited Mike in Sun Valley as their circle of skiing buddies also included local skiing icon, Nonie Foley.
Mike’s parents, younger brother, older sister and a nephew all preceded him in death.
Mike – your countless friends and family will always remember their newly acquired skills and the resultant joy you brought to their lives. You will be dearly missed by everyone who had the opportunity to experience the ‘magic’ you created on the snow.
A memorial Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Snows on Saturday, August 18th 2018 at 10:00am, to be followed by burial at the Ketchum cemetery and a brief reception afterward at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge. All who knew Mike are invited to attend.
There will be a Celebration of Mike’s Life held this winter after the first snow. Details to follow in November.